The number of pharmacists joining the register – both from the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) – rose by 19% to 867 when compared to the same third quarter period in 2018, according to General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) papers published ahead of its council meeting last week (February 13).
The pass rate for the September 2019 registration exam rose to 69%, an increase of four percentage points on September 2018. This result contributed to the total number of new joiners “being higher than this time last year”, the GPhC said.
However, the papers also stated that “there is a continuing decrease in numbers of EEA pharmacist registrations”. Only 23 EEA pharmacists joined the register between October and December 2019, compared to 37 in the same period in 2018.
The overall number of pharmacists on the register increased by 1,015 compared with October-December 2018.
The total number of pharmacy technicians who joined or restored their registration with the GPhC in the three months leading to December 31 2019 is also higher than the same time the previous year.
“There continues to be an increase in the number of pharmacy technicians joining/restoring to the register compared to this time last year,” the GPhC said. The figures for this cohort rose from 473 between October-December 2018 to 502 in the same period last year. The overall number of pharmacy technicians on the register rose by 151 compared to 2018.
The GPhC processed a total of 1,373 registration-related requests from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians between October and December 2019. This is down from 1,500 in 2018, when the GPhC feared the introduction of revalidation would drive up the number of registrants asking to be taken off the register.
Only 59 pharmacies joined the GPhC register in the three months to December 2019, compared to 70 during that period in 2018. The GPhC added that the “number of registered pharmacies has decreased by 100 premises when compared to 31 December last year”.